Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mt. Si - I Can Do Hard Things!

Another hiking post. I think it's because my body is wishing it were off somewhere today on a really good hike. I was looking back this morning on one of the very first real hikes I ever did. It was a couple of years ago when visiting Seattle with my best friend Tam. Growing up in the Northwest and exploring its beauty was not something I'd let myself participate in until recent years, so to hike in the Northwest is by far my favorite. It's beautiful in every way.

On this particular day, we were doing Mount Si. (4167 feet elevation in 4 miles) I had done other little short what I like to call "prairie" hikes, but this would have been my first real hike. I had waffled with the idea of climbing it this day as I was getting over phenomena, but for the most part, I was feeling good. Not to mention, there had been talk about us climbing this mountain all summer, so I didn't want to back out.This was a big deal for me, as Mt. Si is one of the most well hiked trails in the Northwest and something I'd grown up hearing that people did but never in my wildest dreams thought it would be something I would do. (Almost as if I wasn't allowed to.)

Tam and I set out and started up the trail from the base and learned real quick that the first 1.5 miles is pretty steep. I was huffin' and puffin' most the way and honestly think I wanted to question what I was doing but wouldn't let my mind go there. I wanted it, and I wanted it bad! When we got to the 1 mile mark a couple of gentlemen were on their way down and asked us about our water. We told them what we had in our pack and one of them explained that we'd need WAY more than that, so he sent us on our way up the mountain with what he had left. (Again, another indication of "What have I gotten myself into?" But I didn't let my mind go there.) As we climbed, we stopped, and climbed and stopped some more. Huffing and puffing along the way - face beat red and all. In other words...totally out of shape climber! 

At the time I weighed 178 pounds so I'd already lost 100 pounds.  I had just never had my body do something like this before, so it really didn't know what to expect. Not to mention, in the big picture of life, my body had only really been in an active state for a very short percentage of time. As we continued on, I felt my mind want to wander and go to a place of doubtful thinking several times but I just wouldn't let it go there. (I think this is a key thing for all of us in many aspects of our journey.) We stopped and took several pictures along the way. Proof that I was on this mountain God created. Climbing it no less. (The picture taking was a good distraction too.) 

As the day went on and we summited and made it to the top, I remember feeling like I was on top of the world. We climbed up to a rocky area and sat for a while and I remember pondering, talking to God, feeling like I could do anything. Anything I put my mind to. Anything my heart desired. I knew at that point I was going to make it to my goal. I knew I could do hard things. And to top it off, I couldn't have asked for a better climbing partner. 

Often times I wonder what would have happened if I would have allowed myself to listen to the voices in my head and would have turned back that day. Would I have finished? Would I be where I am today? Probably not. How grateful I am for a God who sees my potential and pushes me through. Who puts a fog between me and those voices in my head and who has been there for me every step of the way. He never said it would be easy.  He only said it would be worth it.

 I'm happy to report, I've climbed Mt. Si several times since that day. I've felt the need to do it every year, last year twice, and then again this summer. It means something to me. It holds a special place in my heart. It's where I discovered I was a climber and I can do hard things. 

July 2012

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  1. Thank you for letting me be your climbing partner. Love you.

  2. You are such an encouragement! I love the amount of praise you direct towards God in your posts too. Thank you for always being real and sharing something that is such a hard area for so many women!

  3. I haven't hiked since Christmas when I was gently but firmly removed to hospital in a helicopter! But there are a few hiking posts around the interwebs today and you've got me craving it again. This time I might choose something easier, though :)